A POSTMISTRESS is on a mission to help residents ahead of three banks in Andover closing their doors this year. 

Leslie Francis, of Enham Village Store and Post Office, has been engaging with people at banks in the town centre to let them know that they can access banking services at the Post Office.

Barclays will close its doors on Friday, May 17, while NatWest will close on August 28 and Halifax on July 25.

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Andover Advertiser: Leslie Francis and Debbie Morgan helping customers in Barclays Andover ahead of its closureLeslie, who has been the postmistress in Enham for nearly 20 years, said: “As soon as I heard that Barclays bank was closing, I contacted the Enham Trust, because a large number of the residents have Barclays bank accounts, to inform them they could use the Post Office.

“The bank closures are obviously going to affect a lot of people and we wanted to make them aware that the Post Office is available for their daily banking needs.”

Earlier in April, Leslie, along with Debbie Morgan, area manager of the Post Office Ltd, visited Halifax and Barclays to make people aware they can use their local Post Offices for everyday banking services.

“A lot of people didn’t know that they could use their Post Office,” Leslie added.

Speaking about the impact of the bank closures, she continued: “A lot of people are going to miss the banks because of the social interactions. There are a lot of elderly people who don’t go online and don’t want to go online.

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“The staff in the banks care about their customers and they are worried about their customers, they really welcomed that we are offering an alternative.”

Both Halifax and Barclays will have offices in a ‘convenient location’ in Andover that people will be able to use, but it is understood that these will have ‘limited hours’.

Leslie hopes that she can spend a day in NatWest before it closes to inform customers about the banking services on offer in the Post Office.

Leslie said that the Post Office will be in contact with WHSmith, which houses the service in its town centre store, to make them aware of the “increase in business that they can expect”.

At any of the 11,500 Post Office branches, people can pay in cash and cheques, withdraw cash and check their balance over the counter.